Helping you see the wood through the trees

2nd Mar 2017

Peter Hastings and his team are receiving instructions regarding the increased restrictions being applied to the importation of goods containing rosewood and ivory after a ruling by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Wild Fauna & Flora (CITES). The listing took effect on 2 January 2017, and any imports or exports of items containing rosewood will generally require CITES documentation.

The legislation is intended to regulate international trade to ensure that it continues in a sustainable manner – countries harvesting and exporting rosewood will now be required to demonstrate this.

Rosewood is a key component in the manufacture of stringed instruments such as guitars, violins and banjos, so the change in the law means that the many companies involved in either importing or making them face getting items impounded by The Border Force Agency.

It’s been reported that lack of staff, the volume of paperwork and licences to be dealt with, coupled with the law being only newly implemented, is causing back log and confusion.

Peter commented “This has wider implications than you would imagine and could impact on a many successful companies involved in the manufacturer and importation of stringed instruments and furniture. Both the companies and the government are still trying to understand and unravel many aspects of the law, from where the wood originates to how the law applies to pre-owned instruments. The details are complex and involved, so the need for expert legal support and advice is paramount – time spent talking to me at the outset could end saving you time and money later on. Without the correct licence, Border Force could seize the imported goods. We can assist with such issues and deal with condemnation proceedings and an appeal for restoration”.

If you are having a similar issue you can contact Peter and his team at or 01603 675639.